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Are Tamil Films setting sights on Tamil markets only, a look through

- April 30, 2022

Arun Lakshman/Chennai(IANS)

The Tamil film industry is the epitome of entertainment and the politics of Tamil Nadu have always been synonymous with the movie industry. The industry gave top-notch politicians turned Chief Ministers in late M.G. Ramachandran, founder of AIADMK, J. Jayalalithaa as also M. Karunanidhi whose screenplays were always directly connected to the masses. Even the first Dravida Party Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, C.N. Annadurai was involved in the movie world with these writings and lyrics.

Thus Tamil movie industry has always been directly connected to politics and thereby the destiny of the state. The erstwhile Madras, now Chennai, has been the capital of South Indian movie world with almost the entire movies from the South having a footprint of Madras.

There were excellent studios in AVM, Bharani, and other major studios that had all the facilities for making the movies as also for recording and dubbing.

Tamil industry was also synonymous with the crossing over to other territories especially Bollywood and movies like ‘Hathe Mere Sathi’, ‘ ‘Bombay’, ‘Roja’, and ‘Yuva’ by acclaimed director Maniratnam and both Kamal Haasan and Rajanikant movies were made simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi. Lady superstars like Vaijayantimala Bali, Rekha, Hemamalini, and late Sreedevi were of Tamil origin and became stars of their own in Bollywood.

However, of late Tamil movie industry seems to be confined to the shores of Tamil Nadu as well as among the Tamil speaking community across the globe but not much in Bollywood and at national level.

While ‘Jai Bhim’ depicted a real-life incident of a Scheduled Tribe, Irular youth Manikantan was tortured to death by a Police officer and the fight for justice that his pregnant wife did with the help of a young lawyer K. Chandru has become a major hit. The movie produced by actor Suriya in which he played the role of Advocate Chandru was India’s official entry to the Oscars. Jacqueline Coley, the Oscar host had in a reply to a tweet as to which movie would provoke the biggest reaction had responded, ‘Jai Bhim’ for Best Picture. Unfortunately, Suriya’s fans were heartbroken as the movie was out of recognition and failed to win the Oscars.

Another recent Tamil movie that did well out of Tamil Nadu and out of Tamil speaking population was Vijay starrer ‘Beast’. However of late Tamil industry seems to be content on confining within the diaspora and with all the state capitals turning into their own major film production centres, the dominance of Madras (Chennai) as the capital of South Indian movies has also slowly waned.

R. Pushpakumar, writer and chronicler of Tamil films while speaking to IANS said, “ The fact is that Tamil films are making good on their own. Creativity-wise and commercial-wise. Tamil movies are extremely improved in script, production, direction, and even music and hence there is no point to have a discussion that the industry is not foraying into Bollywood. Tamil industry is standing on its own feet and the huge Tamil diaspora are happily consuming the movies churned out from the  industry.”